The owners of the biggest dairy farm in the Franz Josef area are once again surveying wrecked pasture after the Waiho (Waiau) River flooded their land.
The latest deluge dumped more than 400mm of rain on the district last week and sent the wild river around the end of the regional council stopbank, cutting around the back of Neil and Cath Frendrup's farm, and wiping out 15 paddocks.
The family runs more than 900 cows on their dairy unit, making it the most productive in the area.
But Cath Frendrup said the floods were a continual nightmare.
"We've spent $400,000 on river protection rates since 2006, and about $30,000 after the last one, getting the land cleared. Back in 2019, after the big flood, we had to take out a loan to re-establish the pasture - the river took out more than 100ha and this latest one has wrecked some of that again."
The stopbank needed to be about 300m longer to fully protect the farm, Cath said.
"We thought the council was planning to do that but we don't know what's happening with that - there was supposed to be Government funding for the shovel ready projects and then it all went quiet.
"So we have to wait, not knowing what will happen to our farm - it's a nightmare."
West Coast Regional Council operations manager Randal Beal, confirmed there had been funding approved in principle for extending the protection on the south bank of the Waiho, but the Government had paused the process while it looked at the long term future of the area.
There was an argument for letting the river take its natural course, but that would mean buying out the farmers involved.
"I understand there is a Cabinet paper doing the rounds at the moment about this but we haven't seen it," Beal said.
Meanwhile, the council had offered to build a stopbank for the Frendrups as an interim measure for $200,000.
"It wouldn't be the same quality as the rest of the stopbank but it would give them some temporary protection, while we wait to see what the future funding decision will be," Beal said.
Cath Frendrup said her family had made a large contribution already to the stopbank that was protecting others and did not believe it was fair to ask them to foot the bill for the added protection.